tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC June 29, 2014 7:00am-9:01am PDT
good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. i already sent my letter this week, but i just wanted to say, dear hillary, oh, my, i know you didn't mean to do it. but in your interview with diane sawyer you waited into the quick sand thwhen you said this. >> we came out of the white house not only dead broke but in debt and we had no money when we got there and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for chelsea's education. you know, it was not easy. >> now, when secretary of state, former secretary of state says in debt. she is telling the truth. foreclosure disclosure document show they held debt.
but what in debt for the clintons is vastly different. the couple had a combined income of $357,629 that year. the next year, 2001, bill clinton made $13 million. just in speaking fees. hillary made $8 million off of advances for her first memoir. now, they may have been in debt in 2000, but four years later, that was gone. and that was likely not the same story for the 74% of you as households also holding debt in 2000. shortly after her abc interview, clinton stepped in it, again, telling "the guardian" we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off. granted, being truly well off means is certainly subjective and does not mean the same thing for the average u.s. worker as it does for clinton who reportedly makes upwards of $200,000 for speaking appearances. hillary clinton's comments have
caused reporters to speculate about her relatability leading up to the 2016 campaign. but she joins a long list of politicians whose comments on wealth have have fallen a little outside of the relatability spectrum. who can forget this moment from the 2012 campaign. >> you know, i'm just saying, you're for individual mandates, my friend. you know what, you've raised that before, rick, and you're certainly wrong. >> it's true now. >> rick, i'll tell you what. 10,000 bucks. $10,000 bet. i'm not in the betting business, but i'll show you. >> the $10,000 just kind of off-hand bet and we'll be betting 10,000 here and there and then the moment when governor romney gave students in ohio some advice on how to start a business. >> we've always encouraged young people. take a shot, go for it. take a risk, get the education.
borrow money if you have to from your parents. start a business. >> just borrow that money from your parents to start the business. and then there was candidate barack obama on the campaign trail in iowa trying to relate to residents at a rural issue's forum asking the crowd. has anybody gone to whole foods lately and seen what they charge for arugula. the comment didn't land as planned because there was no whole foods in the entire state. don't be the urugula guy when you're trying to be a regular guy. toast host lawrence od'donnell she doesn't even consider herself wealthy. >> i realize there are some wealthy individuals, i'm not one of them. >> maybe compared to some of her colleagues in the senate, but she made more than $400,000 as a
professor at harvard and that's before you add in book royalties. john mccain in an interview with politico into what "nightly news" called the biggest political story of the day. >> the biggest political story of the day came from john mccain in response to a question about how many houses he owns. he didn't answer. >> how many houses do you and mrs. mccain have? >> i think, i'll have my staff get to you. i'll have them get to you. >> no, nope, nope, nope. it was at least four and let's go back just a little bit further to 1992 with president george h.w. bush failing to connect personally his response to a question about how the national debt and the recession impacted him personally during a town hall debate. >> i've had friends that have been laid off from jobs. i know people who cannot afford
to pay the mortgage on their homes and their car payment. i have personal problems with the national debt, but how has it affected you and if you have no experience in it, how can you help us if you don't know what we're feeling? >> i think she means more the recession, the economic problems today the country faces rather than -- >> you ought to be in the white house for a day and hear what i hear and see what i see and read the mail i read and touch the people that i touch from time to time. >> oh, yeah, lady who's having trouble with her car payments, spend the day with me in the white house. we honestly have to stop there because if we keep going through the list of so-called gaffes, we would dtake up the whole show. they're not really gaffes, per se, not like forgetting the list of three agencies in the list of agencies. moments like those are mistakes, blunders that cause political embarrassment. but these statements about personal wealth, they seem like
genuine comments by individuals. those individuals have a level of wealth extraordinarily different than the average voter. when they try to relate to voters about financial outlook, they sound a lot less relatable. the intention behind pointing out the so-called gaffe not to say the politicians themselves should be chastised for their wealth. don't hate the player, hate the game. but it is to say that their wealth might, in fact, sometimes prevent them from an act and, oh, excuse me, does not mean that they can't, you know, have policies that are beneficial and smart. but the gaffes can have political consequences when it comes to voters. hillary clinton's likely new run in 2016, reporters are questioning if the way she discusses her wealth becomes a problem for her candidacy. joining me now robert and former bush/cheney senior adviser.
tim who is vice president of policy and research and dalton connally and author of "being black living in the red. race, wealth and social policy in america." so nice to have you all here. i'm going to start with you and sort of give you a chance to tell me, why should i not look at this moment and say, mrs. clinton you were running for offense in one role or another for a long time, this looks to me like you don't get the relatability piece. >> the important thing to start with. i did appreciate the introduction. but the important thing to start with, the american people are not going to elect the next president based on their checking account balance. in this case with hillary clinton she has been earning her income since leaving the state department in speeches where she's appearing before hundreds, if not thousands of people talking about how to make the world a better place. >> sure. look, i'm seriously, i make
money for speaking engagements and i make money by doing a television show and being on a college campus and teaching. i move my mouth and earn income. i am not angry at that at all. there is this moment where one must recognize, maybe maybe you had a struggle out of the white house, but not the same kind of struggle that ordinary people have. it's language that looks as if you are talking about shopping for arugula at the whole foods. >> or never before having seen a food scanner. what hillary clinton did say and i where she fully said, yes, i'm very well off and i'm very blessed and we've been given a lot of opportunities, she and her husband. what happens now is what they do with that. to me the question is so much, also, about cultural
relatability, too. >> what do you mean? >> in this case i'm thinking back to when hillary clinton has given interviews talk about her love, shared love of hgtv shows and that's what we do. that's what regular people do. and there is a cultural relatability there and what transcends that is her record. what she's fighting for and what she cares about. >> sure, sure. that does feel like a different issue to me. whether or not she was qualified to be president. let me and this. you've been with candidates. i want just ask and maybe this is a little mean, but it did feel like this. we remember in an interview with e gwyneth paltrow said the regular job to have a mom is not as challenging. it's not like being a mom on set and people are like, excuse me, did you say it's easier to be a working mom than an actress, it felt like hillary clinton turned herself into the gwyneth paltrow
of politicians this week. >> i think the reality is the majority of politicians out there, they live in a bubble and their bubble is different from the average bubble, right? the average bubble out there, the average person is making $36,000 a year household income. but hillary clinton she meant what she said. they were dead broke. they were dead broke. my mom and dad watching at home when they look at that, wait a minute, you have no idea what that means and no idea living from paycheck to paycheck means. arugala at whole foods, the reality is republicans and democrats you mention with john mccain, they live in that bubble and the bubble is not reality. >> there are moments, dolten. they actively try not to be in the bubble. cory booker making the decision before being elected mayor of newark to live in the housing projects, right. and then ultimately to take the
food stamp challenge, which some other politicians have taken. when you see them actively pushing themselves out of the bubble and then others who are like, come on, cory, you may be doing this but you know in your bank account there is still a safety net. >> exactly. >> i agree that with this incredible wealth and equality it gets greater and greater the further up the ladder you go. that's the kind of perniciousness of it. even if you're in the top 1%, you're hanging out with the donors or in the top one-tenth. >> i'm still flying commercial and they have their own planes. >> you lose perspective and the best thing for politicians to do, including cory booker who went to stanford. i'm incredibly privileged regardless if they're in debt temporary and i want to give that privilege or that opportunity to everybody. end of story there and not do
these stunts. probably the only stanford graduate of his year living on food stamps. >> maybe or maybe not. >> maybe not in this economy, actually. >> given this economy, more and more stanford and everything else. >> we've seen that playbook before. we've seen that with john f. kennedy. >> fdr is the key example. >> a classic example and he says i'm very wealthy, but what i see as an american where people are living paycheck to paycheck and he the question is can you connect to the average voter regardless of your wealth. >> it does seem to me is the aspirational aspect. so, we see, for example, african-american communities religious leaders who are making a lot of money, earning a lot more than, for example, our current pope in his tradition suggesting religious leaders ought to live in the same kind of poverty as ordinary people. but part of it is saying because we want to aspire, we want our leaders to have more and to be
more, but not every in a way, though, where that leader seems to be suggesting as much as i have, oh, i know what your struggle is, right? >> it's a little gimmicky i'm going to live in public housing or eat a diet that i can only buy with food stamps. i think the key here is relatability. and, as you said, americans don't hate people who have wealth, as much as people want to accuse us of that. in fact, a lot of people aspire to be wealthy. the key is to own your wealth and not apologize for it but realize that others haven't had the same opportunities and haven't come from the same household of prisons. oreally relating and say, look, i know today working moms have it tough. he just had a big white house summit on balancing work families. >> let's talk a it alittle bit t that as it goes.
but i actually thought in that moment when he says, oh, yeah, equal pay for michelle, in which leze tahe's talking about the first lady it did fall flat because it was six years in. when we come back, i want to talk about the person who had to evolve and whether or not they are bill clinton. that man from hope becoming the man with money. there is not that there is anything wrong with that. ugh. heartburn. did someone say burn? try alka seltzer reliefchews. they work just as fast and taste better than tums smoothies assorted fruit. mmm. amazing. yeah, i get that a lot. alka seltzer heartburn reliefchews. enjoy the relief.
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strike people as being out of touch? >> yeah, but, she's not out of touch. and she's advocated and worked as a senator for things that were good for ordinary people. before that, all her life and the people asking her questions should put this into some sort of context. >> that 2014 version of bill clinton being in touch with ordinary people is not exactly ethe same presidential hopeful who used his to launch into the white house. at the 1992 democratic national convention clinton was introduced with a video with the man from hope his humble origins in hope, arkansas. >> i was born in a little town called hope, arkansas. >> some people think that bill must have been born wealthy and raised wealthy and that he had all of the privileges you could ever imagine. well, you know, instead of being born with a silver spoon, he was born into a house that had an
out house in the backyard. >> that became an essential message to his campaign, his ability to listen and relate to everyday people. you know, feel your pain. the clinton campaign liked the video show much they began running it as a television infomercial adding in a number to call. that's how long ago '92 was. clinton went on to win the election beating incumbent george h.w. bush by more than 200 electoral votes. since leaving office, bill clinton paid $100 million just on speaking. one thing for politicians to tell their story but when it means change and change so dramatically you can't be the man from hope. your political narrative just has to adjust. so, feels to me, robert, the key example that is often used is candidate clinton playing the saxophone on arsenio hall and the way that sort of frames him and the cultural similarity that you were talking about earlier
and president clinton in running for re-election can't play the saxophone on tv because you're now a new person. the story has to change. >> you have to reintroduce yourself. it's okay to be wealthy. it's okay to inspire the american dream. that's what our presidents tell us we should. the question is whether or not you are authentic and whether or not you can still relate to the average person. there are a lot of wealthy people out there that a lot of people admire. take a look at bill gates and warren buffett and multi-bill n multi-billionaires that fly commercial and a certain sense of relatability and it is if they could still relate to that person. at the end of the day they had the relationship with american president because that person was perceived waking up every single morning fighting for me. they wanted to put money in your bank account. >> well, i think one thing we haven't talked about here is
whether they're authentic or not and authenticity how that influences the policies they want to pass when they're president. in hindsight, i think this is where president bill clinton has left a pretty bad legacy of doing things that benefit ordinary people. you know, let's remember, he signed in nafta. that displaced a lot of workers in the midwest in what we now call the rust belt. welfare reform. indian welfare as we know it. finally, the cap stone is we had the last nail in the coffin of financial regulation where we finally severed the ties between commercial and investment banking which a decade or so later helped fuel the subprime crisis and the hunger on wall street for those securities. >> what you just laid out here is just tremendously interesting for a number of reasons. one, you suggest the fdr and jfk examples of, okay, progressive politics might overcome the individual wealth but the story
you just told someone who was president and earned income tax credit was a great thing for working class people and another policy agenda that could be read as bad for working class people but did have a cultural capacity. i mean, the biting of the lip and the feeling of your pain and, in that way, very much like george w. bush whatever the policies were, he just was a good, like you want to drink a beer with bill and george in this way whether it was authentic or not, was politically powerful. >> yeah. >> i think that the democrats have a disadvantage in this realm. i agree, totally, that we admire wealth. it's the cultural elitism that hurts politicians. and the republicans can say, look, i'm pro-wealth, i'm pro-business and i want to cut taxes and, yes, that benefits me, so what? democrats have this thing lurking in the background of being called a limousine liberal
that the republicans i don't think suffer from as much. and they, i think we have to go back, like you said, to fdr or jfk to see how they managed that better than seem to do today. >> perfectly acceptable to be a magazine conservative. speaking of which, let's just listen for a moment weighing in on this and let's just take a minute and i'll let you respond. >> not a problem of people being rich in this country. >> romney didn't lose -- >> but i think when you're perceived of being out of touch with people that are struggling and people out there working hard, i don't think flying on private jets and collecting $250,000 for a speech is considered to be hard work. >> so, now, i mean, the party that gave us 47% and mitt romney and the angst that came along with the last election is suggesting that potentially hillary clinton is falling into the same trap. >> but i do want to come back to
your orig nalfrainal frame for that there is a question of authentic narrative. if anything, what president clinton has done is proven true the american dream. there's no adjusting of a narrative here. he is a child, he was a child that came from difficult background, limits means, used his skills and opportunities, took out the college loans, went on to become what now one-half, one of the most famous couples on earth and what does he do in every speech that i heard him give many, many times. he's advocating for tax cuts for the middle class and advocating to expand opportunity and advocating for a growth, an excelling of upward mobility and this is something that i think transcends any notion of the man from hope is no longer the man from hope. because he's talking about those same things that he always has. >> and he is, i think this is part of my point, and part of the point earlier, he's an
extraordinary talker. the current president said he should be the secretary of explaining stuff. but, first of all, president bill clinton will not be run figure a clinton makes a decision to run in 2016, it will be hillary clinton. i want to play, just quickly. back in 2008 while campaigning ini indianin indiana, hillary c attempted to make a similar connection with folks. i want to play that and then we'll come back and do something else in a quick second. but let's take a listen to this. >> you know, my dad took me up behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake calle outside of scranton taught me to shoot when i was a little girl. you know, some people have continued to teach their children and their grandchildren. it's part of a culture. it's part of a way of life. >> so, this was during that whole pennsylvania primary in 2008 around the, when talked
about clinging to god and guns and i want to talk about whether or not that was effective or not and whether or not there are going to be questions about authenticity going into 2016, which we come back. yes. but you're progressive and they're them. -yes. -but they're here. -yes. -are you... -there? -yes. -no. -are you them? i'm me. but the lowest rate is from them. -yes. -so them's best rate is... here. so where are them? -aren't them here? -i already asked you that. -when? -feels like a while ago. want to take it from the top? rates for us and them. now that's progressive. call or click today.
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get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history. and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit celebrex.com and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. i am the granddaughter of a factory worker from scranton who went to work in the scranton lace mills when he was 11 years old and worked his entire life there. mostly six-day weeks. >> that was at the pennsylvania democratic debate in april of 2008. at that time, candidate clinton got push back where are you from? are you from pennsylvania, new york, illinois? this is a question that will emerge for her. >> in 2008 she trum oiumphed. what is it the candidate is
advocating and does the candidate really seem equipped to do that job? and with whether their grandparents from the state and they grew up in another state and now they live in a third state, i fail to see how that matters. >> i think it does matter to voters. here's why i say it does because, for me, electing a candidate is a bit like choosing a spouse. you actually don't know what you're going to face, right? over the course of the four years or eight years. it could be good times or bad times. you could elect the party guy you want to have a beer with and then we're in a post-9/11 world and you don't know what will happen during that term. a lot of what you have to choose on is whether or not you think they get people like you. whether or not you think they're honest and make decisions you hold them accountable for. i actually think it matters. >> it is a relationship. at the end of the day, it's a
relationship. what you see with hillary clinton back in 2008 she was trying to connect with blue collar democrats. working democrats. they were called reagan democrats when ronald reagan had that relationship with them for eight years. they do admire and respect the second amendment that probably live paycheck ato paycheck and are probably union and make $30,000 to $40,000 a year. they could care less what you have in your bank account but are you going to enact policies that are going to make my life better. guess what, i want to be in the white house, too. >> with the 99%, 1%, with the growing wealth gap, is it possible in this moment of who america is for the 1% to, in fact, have an intimacy and an understanding of those relationships in the bottom part. >> that's a good question and we don't know the answer. this is such a unique and this cultural revolution that the
left sewed in the '60s and we're now reaping where it's not good to be establishment. you want to be grass roots. you want to be of the people and, you know, like i said, we formented that on the left and now having an ivy league degree or having a ph.d. you have a ph.d. and want to run for elected office. it somehow is seen as ilegitimate. it's not just how much wealth you have, but how you got it. speaking fees seem yucky compared to like you built something or invented something. >> i disagree. >> no, i do think -- >> anything distasteful or very distasteful. let's talk about someone, mitt romney, whose capital experience was predicated on the tremendous outsourcing of american jobs overseas -- >> and americans reject that. >> but i have a question for you. what about like a mark zuckerberg or steve jobs steve jobs was a billionaire but had an everyday relatability.
when you look at zuckerberg with the hoodies who pushes away from all the trappings and drives a prius and lives in an average neighborhood in san francisco. >> i don't think there's an average neighborhood in san francisco. >> plus, i bet they'd have trouble running for office. different to sell a consumer product than to run for office. >> look at ross perot. certain instances where a wealthy person struck a chord o, didn't win, but came very close. >> but i'll just suggest at the end that it's possible, i know you're working on a ph.d. in presidential history right now, but just in our contemporary moment might be different because of the expansiveness of our current wealth gap. just a possibility. when we come back, we'll talk a little bit more about this, but a totally different way. how the makers of the country's most famous swedish meatballs, can ikea save us? [ molly ] this is one way to keep your underwear clean.
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the fight for higher minimum wage just got a big boost than ikea. starting on january 1st they will raise the minimum wage. that minimum wage hike is 40% higher than the $7.45 and amount to 17% increase for half of the chain's u.s. workers. though the exact hourly wage at each store will be determined by location. ikea is the latest retailer to join a growing group of u.s.-based companies who have chosen not to wait on the federal government and to raise the minimum wage at the respective businesses. in february, the gap announced it would raise its hourly minimum wage to $9 in it u.s.-based workers and follow
that up with an increase to $10 next year. both chipotle and starbucks weighed in saying they, too, would support efforts to raise wages. neither company has come out with an official policy yet and states continue to outpace with minimum wage with deval patrick signing a measure into law on thursday which will raise his state's minimum wage making it the highest in any u.s. state. so, we should all go in our gap jeans and shop at ikea outside of boston. i'm wondering if these businesses are doing it because it's pure, good business practice or like politicians, they are selling a product and there is a kind of progressive value to being able to say, we moved quickly on this. >> i think there's a couple things happening. one, i think it's great news. overall when you look at these trends in terms of localities and states and companies, changing their minimum wage policies we're finally seeing a
pivot away from the idea we've been told so often that the price we have to pay for low prices at walmart, at the gap is low wages for their workers. and i think what this says is that bargain, which was a false bargain from the beginning is no longer going to be the way that we do business. there are a couple things about the ikea decision that are really pretty extraordinary. the president of the company which is privately held and they can get away from this without too much pushback. part of their commitment to make the lives of their workers better. wow, what a radical notion. we're committed to them having healthy, good lives. the second thing is they have done something that i don't think has been done before and they are going to tie the minimum wage to the cost of living. >> adjusted local minimum wage because it really is quite different. in atlanta the adjusted local would be $9.31 but in new york
and san francisco where there are no regular neighborhood, $11.90. and it just, to see that shows you how far the gap is from the current 7 something to that $11.90. >> it's so important and a country as vast as the united states with a cost of living that is so variable. this is really important to say that when we think about what it takes to buy groceries and put a roof over your head, we're going to base our wage structure on that. i think it's profound and it could potentially be a turning point. >> what i like about what you said there, the idea to listening to one's workers and having an understanding of it. we try to bring folks to the table here who are living in circumstances quite different than that of the host or of any of the other guests. one of our favorite guests is tiana, a mother living on public assist an assistance. sometimes experiencing homelessness and she was on our set with congresswoman barbara lee and barbara lee said to tiana that she wanted her to come and actually testify before
congress. i want to play that moment. >> i'm on paul rand's committee and they're having a hearing, we're having a hearing led by paul rand on wednesday. i am asking you to come. i hope i can see you on wednesday. >> so,dality dalton did go ande congressman and he said, nope. that moment of an elected member saying, hey, you have information that we need to make policy seem so potentially powerful and then congressman ryan saying, no, we'd rather not hear from her. >> that was the wrong audience, ryan. i think that the, there is vast differences in cost of living and we don't say that in new york. we know that, we live it. but the rallying cry for a minimum wage that if you work full time year round, you're not in poverty. i think that's a pretty powerful statement and then hopefully the
next time we actually do do something on the federal level index it to inflation and not have to have these struggles all the time. >> i love the idea that ikea and the gap and starbucks are outpacing the congress. thanks to everybody who was a guest this morning. tracy, i appreciate you being here this morning and tamara and dalton and robert will stick around a little longer. still to come, the politics of king james. lebron that is. but up next, the woman who said she was kicked out of heaven by the church of latter day saints. just what did she do to deserve that? and thank you for your bravery. thank you colonel. thank you daddy. military families are uniquely thankful for many things, the legacy of usaa auto insurance can be one of them. if you're a current or former military member or their family, get an auto insurance quote and see why 92% of our members
they ended the practice of plural marriage. in 1918 began redeeming the dead. in 1978 the church begin admitting african-americans into the priesthood. these are meaningful changes but other practices and traditions of the church have remained firmly in place. women are not allowed in the mormon priesthood. all mormon priests are men and actually in the mormon tradition all men are eligible, but not women. some people want to change that. but church leaders are emphatically not interested in that change. on monday, the lds church went so far as to ex-communicate this woman, kate kelly. a feminist, a mormon and a founder of the group ordain women. she's organized protesters in hundreds of women protests the church general priesthood meeting in salt lake city, utah. the meetings are only open to priests, that is, only open to men. in the protests, the women lined up in mass to attend the
meetings and were turned away, one by one. all in the public eye. the church has since banned news photographers from such protests. church leaders say the priesthood is only open to men because jesus in their view had only men as his original disciples and the church warned kelly to stop rocking the boat, to take down the ordained women website and distance herself from the group and to get in line. on june 8th, kelly's local church leaders charged her with apostasy. she refused to attend the hearing. an all-male panel tried her and found her guilty. now, a mormon who is ex-communicated is no longer a member of the church. their temple blessings are revoked and they cannot even donate money eto the church and the eternal bond between a husband and wife known as the ceiling is suspended. as kelly has said, essentially what they've done is they not only kicked me out of church,
they've also kicked me out of heaven. now, we're going to have kate kelly live, next. she might be surprised to find out how much our stories have in common. [ girl ] my mom, she makes underwater fans that are powered by the moon. ♪ [ birds squawking ] my mom makes airplane engines that can talk. [ birds squawking ] ♪ my mom makes hospitals you can hold in your hand. ♪ my mom can print amazing things right from her computer. [ whirring ] [ train whistle blows ] my mom makes trains that are friends with trees. [ train whistle blows ] ♪
ex-communicated from the church she grew up in and told to abandon her quest of ordained women into the priesthood. joining us now from salt lake city, kate kelly, the founder of ordained women who was ex-communicated for her activism. nice to see you this morning. >> hi, thanks for having me. >> so, talk to me first about what, for you personally, this decision by the church of ex-communication means. >> for me, it feels as though i've been stripped of my citizenship. i am no longer allowed to participate in my local congregation. i have had all my ordinances
null and void. so that includes my baptism, that includes my marriage and that includes my ceiling to my family. so, this is something that is extremely devastating, both on a personal level and for my family. >> talk to me, to help folks understand when you say that it has this impact on your family, for example, on the ceiling. so, i come from a family in which my mother grew up in the church of latter day saints. she graduated from byu. i know what some of this language is. there is my mom on screen. i know some of this language. it's not your civil marriage is over, your legal marriage is over, but something about the relationship as it's related to the church. >> as mormons we believe that we will be together in the after life with our families and so we believe that the ordinances that are performed here on earth bind us together eternally. and, in my case, what these men have done and in their estimation is break those bonds.
so that while members of my family may go to heaven, that won't include me because i'm no longer a member of the church and all these ordinances have been voided. now, in my personal opinion, i don't think that's the way god sees it and i don't think god will punish me for speaking out on behalf of myself and my sisters. but that's certainly the way they carried out this punishment. >> it's important that you phrase it that way. that is what they understand themselves to be doing in this moment. i want to read, in fact, a letter from the first presidency, a statement released just yesterday in which they say, simply asking questions has never constituted apostasy. acting in clear, open and deliberate public opposition to the church or its faithful leaders or persisting after receiving counsel in teaching false doctrine.
are you guilty of that? >> exonerates me completely because the group has never taught any doctrine, yet alone false doctrine. we made a factual assertion, men and women are not equal in our church. that's what anyone can see on any sunday in any congregation. it's just factual not doctrine. we are investing in the institution. we want to hear from them and we want them to take this query to the lord. far from speaking ill of them. >> changes in church policy within the church of latter day saints comes through new revelation. is it unfair to say we need a new policy change if there hasn't been new revelation? >> so, it's very, it's difficult to separate doctrine from policy in the mormon church but we're particularly well placed to have
a place like this and in the mormon church, we can receive new revelation and we have a prophet as in abraham or moss, we have that in this day and that person is living and that person can reveal new things. one of the articles of faith, the very core articles of faith of mormonism says god will yet reveal many great and important things. that's not cosmetic changes, that's not something small. that's great and important things. so, i think mormonism is particularly well placed to be a leader, to be a faith tradition that's a leader on gender equality and that's really what i'm hoping for. >> listening to you talk and seeing you there in salt lake city, i think about my own mom who in her 20s made a decision to ask for ex-communication from the church because of her anxiety about the gender and racial politics of the lds church, but you have specifically ask women not to leave the church.
why? >> i think everyone should do what makes them emotionally well and healthy and for some people that might be leaving the church. i don't discourage that. but if you are able to say, if you're able to continue, i think people should stay. i think this kind of change needs to happen from within and people who are mormon who are active and who are believers should be able to have these kinds of conversations. this needs to happen in every major faith. this includes islam, and i don't think we'll see gender parity at large until we see it coming within major faith traditions. i think this is the next step to see gender equality in society. because including mormonism have members of congress and they affect policy and they affect the ways in which men and women interact with each other. i think it really needs to come from within all these faith traditions and this is kind of a change that only insiders can
ask for. i encourage people to stay, if they can, if it's emotionally healthy for them to do so. >> kate kelly, i appreciate the clarity of your voice on this and also the courage because you're risking real things and it actually matters. i greatly appreciate your work here. >> thank you so much. i think it matters for me, but also matters for all mormon women and all women worldwide. >> thank you so much, kate kelly, and thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you for having me. coming up next the politics of king james. lebron james and the case that i promises you really could change everything for college players hoping to follow in lebron's footsteps. we're getting all sporty with it. with great features... ...like usb connectivity, so you can enjoy your favorite music. mom! mom! mom! mom! mom! mom! hi mom. and a multi-flex sliding rear seat, for your passenger's comfort and your own.
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lebron james shook up the nba, again, by announcing he is opting out of his contract with the miami heat and becoming for the first time in four years a free agent. he did so nearly a week before he had to. the deadline is tomorrow. but this latest decision came not that long after his team took a 4-1 shellacking in the nba finals at the hands of timmy duncan and the san antonio spurs. that means james has won two titles since she joined the heat four years ago when he first used free agency. now, the akron native announced in july of 2010 live on an espn special that he was leaving the cleveland cavaliers. doing that made him a villain to many. the very picture of a mercenary going anywhere to win and the problem with that is, yeah, he's still four rings behind the greatest of all-time michael jordan. news broke saturday that the other two parts of miami's big
three, dwyane wade and chris bosh opted out of their contracts, according to espn. there is a possibility, however slim, that their powerful team may now break apart or not. and let's not forget, they were just schooled, clinic really by the spurs. familiar refrain is, man, lebron ain't never going to beat jordan. he's never be better. but in my estimation the free agent james is already better in at least one important respect, freedom. in fact, journalist keith read on ebony.com the singular emancipated athlete in all of american professional sports. outsideweather may be the only free, the biggest equity cash payout in history.
he is an investor in the company. putting that into perspective james made about $19 million as salary from the heat last season and we're not just talking about financial freedom and his savvy for business deals for himself, this is a guy who put his career in the hands of childhood friends. usually that's kind of a mess. he's actually seeing them thrive as he notes in ebony, lebron eclipsed anything jordan ever did. jordan deals enriched jordan. lebron is connected so many of his peers with the warren buffets and tom warners of the world. so, is james a failure, ring chasing mercenary or is he winning at a much larger game altogether? joining me now, keith boykin a cnbc contributor and next to him sarah who is a brooklyn nets reporter for the yes network. also with me jason paige, host
of jason paige show on sports radio and continuing to stay at the table robert traynam. is lebron free? >> i'm not sure i would call him free, but in ways he really is. i think a lot of dialogue about decisions he has made. >> and particularly the decision. >> the decision i have no problem with. he gave seven great seiasons to cleveland. what are athletes trying to do? they're trying to win. the manner in which he made tried to make that decision. >> let's be honest four years later, five years later, this is a much different lebron james than the lebron james we were seeing four or five years ago. and that's part of the process of all of this is watching lebron james. you talk about the financial aspect and all of those things. this is a different guy than he was five years ago. >> when he was 25 years old five years aago and now 29 and i
think what makes him free is not just his financial, but the fact that he's able to speak out and do what he wants. not just talking about political stuff. when he left and made that decision in 2010, dan gilbert, the owner of the cleveland cavaliers made that scathing s message and posted it online he would not win a championship as long as he was around. lubra lebron continued to make his own rules. he is really setting an example. >> that's exactly what i want. has he changed? is this what people always imagined what free agency would do or is he showing a different way to play this part of the game? good different players have done things in a manner like he has in free agency. no one around the world or around the globe has cared so much because they weren't at the caliber of a lebron james. the focus, the scrutiny. everything he is dealing with is because he is the player he is. he is having comparisons to
michael jordan. is he free in making decisions? absolutely. he is also facing a lot of scruti scrutiny. here we are talking about him. that is part of the thing we learned to deal with. >> my friend tim duncan wins the nba finals and we're doing a lebron james segment. oh, no, don't call -- >> he likes to be boring. >> that's right. >> a difference for lebron james. i equate him like oprah winfrey in the 1990s. she took her brand and took it in a totally different direction. she is the person who syndicated the oprah winfrey show and she opened harpo studios. remember, she is an overweight black woman who wrote her own press release and literally created her own narrative and that's a process she has owned. >> put herself on the cover of every one of her magazines. how about tahat? >> lebron is doing the same thing. it's genius. it's genius on so many different levels. >> it's branding. >> the thing that i disagreed
with what keith was saying with in his article in ebony. he's the cingsingular and role players in the nba and nfl who are playing and doing their job every day and they're making a difference. they don't have to be tied to the million dollar contracts in order to be a free athlete. >> that goes back to the scrutiny. i wonder if, this almost goes back to our political conversation before. as you become more the man, do you actually become less free. in other words, that capacity to make those autonomous decisions. >> more money, more problems. >> but we talk so much about lebron. i think when people look at it, oh, he's just out for the money. these guys opting out of their contract is actually because they are choosing to possibly take less money from the miami heat so they can put together a roster. >> but who's the ring leader of all this now is lebron james. we had this conversation on my
show last night and i don't think there is a more powerful athlete in all of professional sports. maybe mayweather but i don't think there is a more, a stronger athlete in all of sports from a power perspective than lebron james. he's basically, when you say -- >> he's basically taken over as the gm of the miami heat. he said, i want napier from uconn. >> he's tweeting it like while it's happening. yeah, that's what i was going for. >> we talk about pat riley. this was the man who was supposedly the zen, supposedly able to keep that team of those new yorkers who were these bad boys together and that is not what is happening in miami. >> here's the thing, he's taken now dwyane wade and chris bosh and said, i'm opting out. you guys opt out, as well. they have $55 million in cap
room to bring in the players they want to bring. >> are they bringing carmelo. >> this is unprecedented. jordan didn't have this kind of player personnel control. kobe, the lakers won't even talk to kobe bryant about the moves they're making in the off season. >> this is amazing, when you think about it. >> he has enormous power. if you look at thiz website, the first page of his website, i'm just a small town boy from akron, ohio. he is, you can say that. but also the third highest paid athlete in the world. >> did he just do a hillary clinton? i mean at the point in which you have that kind of cash and you're like, i'm just a kid from akron, does that actually end up alienating fans? stay right there. so much more that he is not only doing the dog gone thing on the court, but also one of my favorite players off the court and i'm going to explain why, when we come back.
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lebron james once wore michael jordan's number in cleveland and then gave it up to honor him and it's hard to argue that james hasn't surpassed the charlotte team owner in another effect. speaking his mind at the height of his stardom. mark spears of yahoo! quoted james as saying" it's knowing the position i'm in and being a role model and a leader in my sport. i don't need to do it, it's something i want to do in the position i'm in." back in 2012, posting a photo of he and his heat teammates wearing hoodies with the #wearetrayvonmartin. in january of this year he defended richard sherman when he was being deemed a thug,
tweeting, "i don't know one thug that graduated from stanford and working on his master's. don't judge a book by its cover." reacted to racial comments by donald sterling by saying "there is no room for donald sterling in our league." james may have two rings compared to jordan's six, but in my political estimation in terms of leveraging his profile and influence to impact political awareness, he's already surpasssurpass ed mike who so famously avoided political issues as a player. you suggest that taking on this oprah role could potentially actually have real, with greater responsibility comes great consequences. >> him becoming essentially the de facto gm right now of the miami heat. i want napier and big three let's opt out and try to get other players in. him trying to orchestrate what the heat roster will look like and take that away from pat riley who generally makes those decisions if it doesn't go well,
fairly or unfairly he will get crucified in the media, hey, he tried to put together a team and it failed. he didn't get a title. >> isn't this what a leader is meant to do whether it's politics or sports, you take that risk and then you say, here we go. >> i disagree with you, jason, just in the sense that this team in this group, these guys opting out, what lebron is doing, he is being a leader for this team and he has been that way for the past four years, but they're not finagling with money to individually improve themselves. >> why have a gm? why have a pat riley? >> can't talk until july 1st. free agency doesn't start until july 1st. >> they didn't win that year and he will exercise that. the interesting thing about lebron, espn reported that in both the team hes played for he is not the highest paid player. you would think for this villain player, you would think he has
been. but lebron james has been involved in political causes that other athletes haven't been able to do. he endorsed barack obama, supported his campaign and donated to his campaign and he works with hillary, excuse me, with first lady michelle obama and her healthy eating campaign. and i think barack obama, keep calling him president obama, i think lebron -- >> he's not president yet. >> i mean, although, give him a minute. give him a minute. >> he is the face of the nba. he may as well be the president of the league. that's a unique power that he exercises, i think, well. >> he does it responsibly. >> it's one thing if he's controversial and says things that are just way out there. i believe he's a thoughtful person who is in the leader position and he takes that. now, regarding whether he falls flat on his face, i think he'll step up to the plate and say, i was wrong. >> give me the ball. if you're the leader, you're meant to want to take the lead. >> and on the court, and he's
also done that. >> if he realizes his power for change in a way. >> to answer his question. i'm not saying he can. you run the risk of what will come with that if you don't succeed. >> he opted out. i mean t was a big deal. he opts out tuesday and you don't have to opt out until next month. so he could send a mesage to the league to his team. and now he's orchestrating thing with his teammates because pat riley can't talk to them until july 1st. he's taking ownership and i have a tremendous amount of respect. >> what is lebron james? the kid from akron, so, what if lebron went farther than an instagram or a tweet about sherman or trayvon martin and was like, you know, we're down now with raise the minimum wage. we think people should have, what if he really got political? would that be a risk? one thing to take this leadership role and say they're doing it for collective good and still within the reality that is
the nba. what if he really stretched out and said, okay, i'm down for the minimum wage movement, for example. >> i think it would depend on his endorsements. i think it has a lot to do with, for example, apple bought beats. to my knowledge, apple has not supported a minimum wage increase. >> he wasn't an investment. that was about a level of ownership. >> my example would be i simply don't know this what type of endorsements he has, but contractually obligated not to talk about it. >> here's the deal with lebron. most players have endorsements. michael jordan still makes a ton of money off endorsements. lebron has made a point of taking ownership. so, every endorsement he has, he is a part owner no matter how big. >> i'm not a businessman, i'm a business, man. he has taken, that's why he and j. have that secret handshake. maybe because of that, that is precisely the claim of being freer. >> the point is, you can write
your own press release and it doesn't matter because i have enough money and credibility and because i'm the leader i can do this and not have a lot of consequences to suffer from it. >> if he can't talk about the minimum wage. >> why shouldn't he? >> he is doing it by supporting barack obama. i don't think he should because it's going off of his brand. but if he can't talk about it and he wants to talk about it i think he isn't free and keith reid was putting out there. you have all these little unknown players who can talk about whatever they want and nobody is going to care. >> but this is the issue of power, right? it's a bit like saying if i'm the congressman from the third congressional district of whatever state, i'm capable of saying things that the white house can't. well, yeah, but the point is the white house needs to say it, right? stick with us, we'll talk about lebron the player and lebron the activist. we'll talk about whether king james is the king of comedy. ♪ yeah, girl ♪ you know, i've been thinking about us ♪
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we've been discussing superstar lebron james, his free agency and the power it has given him over the nba, but he's also putting his influence to use in hollywood where he's producing a new show efor the stars network called "survivor's remorse" a sitcom about a pro basketball player and what his success means for his friends and family. a trailer for the show that spells out how hard it can be for a young millionaire. ♪ >> so, there's a dash of reality for you. we tend to think of labor battles in sports as millionaire athletes fighting billionaire owners.
but those stats help to make clear the odds of those athletes staying millionaires, yet alone even solvent are lower than many may think. part of why i'm interested in the lebron of it all, who he is and also who he might represent. we talked earlier in the show, robert, oh, we shouldn't think of, nobody feels sorry for hillary clinton when you make many tens of thousands of dollars for speaking engagement. nobody feels sorry for the millionaire salaried nba players, but it's worth noting it's very hard to get there and even harder for them to keep their money afterward. is there something we can learn about labor battles and the kind of leverage that workers ought to have from the lebron story? >> yeah. >> we call this nerdland. >> nerd politics, there we go. >> curious to know who his audience really is, i think it's probably his colleagues in the nba. i think i'm reading into his
genius here where he's saying, i'm going to teach you something here. i'll teach you how to not be one of the 41% of the individuals who claim or declare bankruptcy after retirement. so, again, i think he's speaking to a narrative that we don't necessarily feel comfortable talking about. and that is a black man in power. and that is someone who is thoughtful, that is someone who is in control and that's someone who is teaching us through leadership by being a thoughtful role model here and i think that's what lebron james is telling us based on his actions. >> and also interestingly, connecting culturally because he's doing it through funny sitcoms set in atlanta not be preaching to us. which is irritating. >> that does not look like a sitcom trailer. that's very serious. >> at the end one of the things when you look at 100% of the people are trying to get at. i covered sports, you know, my whole life since having played. i see high school sports and grew up in chicago and the amount of the entourages of these guys. from the time they are in high
school and different people see what they think they can become and it's not easy. i mean, we want to assume what an easy life for a professional player, but they have got so much to deal with and you look at those stats. >> authenticity claim that comes along with it. if you make good, level headed decisions we've bipartisan frien been friends for a long time and those claims are real. that is the community from which you have emerged. >> maybe the genius of the show idea is that it humanizes these professional athletes in the way that makes them more sympathetic in labor negotiations in the future. and especially, you know, you look at the labor relations in the country today. most americans aren't exactly excited about labor unions and the popularity has declined a lot. when you talk about players unions, it is more mixed. on one hand people think, they're all rich and on the other hand more sympathetic to the needs of the labor unions and negotiating deals. >> i think less, i think less in
other sports. maybe in the nfl you get that sympathy because of what we've learned, head injuries, post-career guys walking around drooling from the mouth, basically. in the nba and major league baseball and i don't think there is -- >> a tool to help create that sympathy or empathy, at least. >> you look at two-sides, the owner. they're making billions of dollars off these players, as well. >> they get to stay billionaires because their career, their career, granted but their career isn't over in their 30s. so, you know, as i was watching the nba finals they kept talking about how old tim duncan was. he was a freshman when i was a senior. i don't think of myself as old. but for the nba we start aging players out that your ownership deals just get started at that age. you have this much longer period. when we say millionaires. just because you have a million salary, but, again, nobody feel sorry for you if you make a
million dollars. the question is, what is the human story and how is lebron navigating it? i just wondered, do we end up with stronger labor unions as a result of lebron james' sitcom? >> i certainly hope so. >> i mean, i think if nothing else, may not affect all labor unions. but if nothing else, for the average role players that we had before. have the freedom to do and say things but not that economic freedom. the economic freedom that doesn't have the freedom to do everything else. >> but the reality is, only one lebron james. it would be one thing 10 or 15 lebron james in the nba, that's when the labor relations board would say we need to step back and reevaluate the situation because more lebron james out there in terms of the power. >> and that question of -- >> in terms of enlightenment. >> because people will listen to what lebron james has to say. >> that creates a platform. >> that's a good point.
>> thanks for sticking around with us. our other guests will hang out longer because we'll go more into this labor question because the case that could change everything for college players who are trying to be the next lebron, the labor questions start before the nba. i grew up with three brothers, so i figured hey, i get it, kids get stains. but we have these three beautiful little girls, and they make us look like amateurs. so i'm living in a world of tiny sweaters and dolphins and weird greasy mystery stains. i'm gonna get you. but this new tide ultra stain release has a crazy amount of cleaning power and a pre-treat zap! cap that helps me get out pretty much any stain. can i help? aww. just kidding. she got me. [ female announcer ] now with new tide ultra stain release you can help remove 99% of everyday stains.
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(baby noise...laughter) we created legalzoom to help you take care of the ones you love. go to legalzoom.com today and complete your will in minutes. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side. nobody ever stomped their foot and asked for less. because what we all really want... ...is more. there's a reason it's called an "all you can eat" buffet. and not a "have just a little buffet". that's the idea behind the more everything plan. it's more of everything you want. for less. plus, get the droid maxx by motorola for 0 down. get more with our best plans on the best network. for best results use verizon. if you've been regularly checking in with us here at nerdland over the last few months, you know we have been talking about the legal
challenges to economic athletics. the lawsuit alleging that the ncaa and the five richest conferences capped player compensation at the value aff u athletic scholarship. had our nerdland friend bhaking this declaration. >> this is amazing. this is historic. this is the first crack in the ncaa cartel. >> now there's this. the case that could bust that crack wide open. for the last three weeks, a courtroom in oakland, california, has been the epicenter of a quake that could rock the ncaa to its very core. seismic shift that could change everything as we know it about college athletics. friday was the last day of testimony in this landmark three-week trial which puts the ncaa against every current and former player whose likeness is used to line the organization's pockets. at the heart of the case is whether college players should
get a slice of the millions of dollars that their performances on the court generate for their schools and ncaa. leading the class action suit on behalf of the players is this guy. the plaintiff and former ucla all-american player bannon. he is arguing that the players are entitled to some of the profits the ncaa makes using imine on television and video games. a loss for the ncaa means it would have to shell out millions of dollars in damages and schools could have to start paying their players. a request for trial by jury it all comes down to this one person. u.s. district judge claudia willcon who, though she has never stepped on a court, has suddenly become the most valuable players in american sports. joining me now from washington, d.c., patrick ruby, writer for sports on earth and host of sports on earth pod cast. nice to see you. >> thanks for having me.
>> is she a sports fan, this judge that is going to make the decision and going to rock the ncaa? >> this is a really interesting part. as far as we can tell, no. judge wilkin is not a big sport fan. much like peter sung-or who gave down the original decision, she is coming into this and looking at this with clear eyes. almost like a space alien coming down and seeing it for what it is. you guys have been talking about power, economic power. economic freedom. that's what this case is really about. >> i so appreciate that. what i want you to do is backup for me a little bit. a lot of folks watching at this point aren't sports fans. many like me may have gone to a college where we are in love with our basketball team and part of what the ncaa is saying is that people like me will no longer watch the games if suddenly the athletes who are playing are not just our fellow
students, our peers in the classroom, but actually being paid. >> that's right. you know, this is an anti-trust case. an anti-trust, you know, you can't actually be a cartel sometimes and get away with what seemed to be anti-trust violations if there are benefits to that. if, basically, those benefits, you know, make your industry healthy or make your industry possible. in the ncaa case they're saying, look, if all of a sudden these athletes are "amateurs" fans will be turned away. fan like you, fans like me. we're not going to watch any more. like minor league baseball or d-league baseball. what we actually like is not that these guys are really talented or they're playing for these schools that we love. what we like is that they're not paid. if they start getting paid, we'll all stop watching. i think that's a ridiculous argument but one of the arguments they're making in court. >> what that rests on is the fundamental concept of amateurism. explain how amateurism and the notion of, as our friend ziren
has called them, operate together. >> the ncaa and all their member schools getting together like a union, if you will, and saying to all these athletes, you have to be amateurs to participate and be part of this. that means you can only be compensated with a sort of maximum wage of an athletic scholarship. all the other money that comes in, the billions in tv money and putting nike shoes on your feet and the money that boosters give to our athletic departments. we control all of that. you can't have any of that because you're no longer eligible and you're out. and this is basically been, i would say, the racket that the ncaa has been running for the last 100 years. if you go back and look that whole concept of amateur and this point has been made in the trial. amateur is basically what the ncaa says it is. at one point scholarships weren't allowed and there was a point you could only have
one-year scholarships or four-year scholarships. constantly shift the definition to whatever favors them. the plaintiff's attorneys have been pointing out, this is really a fraud. this is really, like i said, a racket. interesting to see if judge wilken agrees with that. >> i want to come out and ask the table for a second whether you buy the argument that our relationship to college sports would be fundamentally different if we understand these players as paying for play in some way. >> this definition of amateur. the idea of working for free as volunteerism is not amateurism. i think people get those things confused. >> it is, if the concern is, well, it's going to be viewed as a d-league or minor league, college football already is a minor league. that's why there is no other minor league football system or the same thing in terms of college basketball. big-time college basketball is
the minor leagues for the nba, more so than the d-league. >> let me ask then, because we talked about nobody feeling sorry for a millionaire athlete. i have to say for all the students who are paying back the many tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, they may also feel like, my friend, that scholarship does constitute pay. >> yes, to a sense. the ncaa and these billion dollar tv deals, they're the ones getting all the money and the athletes are putting in all the work. i don't think it would change the perception, a very small percent if athletes are starting to get some of the money for which they are earning. >> the kid in the bioche mrrx class not drawing as much revenue for the school as some of these players are. >> if he wants to work after school, he can. right? or if she wants to sell her autograph, she can in a way these players can't. >> a difference between using your likeness and playing the sport. maybe they shouldn't get paid lots of dollars, but they should
be compensated for that, not the same thing as playing a sport. >> answer that question for us. has there been a distinction made in the courtroom in the actual arguments about the difference between being paid to play for the sport versus the use of the likeness of these athletes? >> yes, actually, that's one of the interesting things about this case is that this specific case is more about sort of main image and likeness and the attorneys, again, they've gone to the judge and said, look, a lot of sort of possible ways to resolve this. we're asking for an injunction so the athletes can get something. they said if you want, you can have a trust fund that the players could then, you know, access that money after their eligibility is required. there's different solutions. if the ncaa wants to hold on to some sort of partial definition of amateurism. the interesting thing to note here, there are other anti-trust cases coming and going to be heard under the same judge and much more direct challenges to the whole that i said maximum wage, you know, earnings cap that the scholarship
constitutes. >> so, patrick, let me ask this. ncaa typically because of the revenue that comes particularly from men's football and basketball, we say ncaa and we think that. but it also, ncaa controls lots of other sports on campus and would this ruling impact other sports or are we really just looking at the marquise, the revenue sports? >> really good question. this case is about right now men's basketball, football, you know, the sort of big revenue sports. however, there are sports, you know, in certain places that do generate revenue. some places basketball generates revenue and in some places men's wrestling and economic freed foreign minister the athletes. we absolutely have individual athletes in our sports that if it were not for amateurs who could be making more money. missy franklin, the olympic swimmer is a great example of this. she went to swim at cal. because of that, she had to not take a lot of endorsement
opportunities that she would have otherwise had. name image and likeness, how fair is that? it's not fair at all, but that's the system we're living with right now. >> let me ask you one question, patrick. for schools is there a reason colleges and universities would have a preference for being in a marketplace that is open versus having the ncaa cartel control. in other words, is it good for them to have to compete for the best athletes in a way, if there is no sort of wage cap for them? >> right. you could make the argument, the ncaa likes to argue. this is their argue in court. another reason we need this minimum wage, follow college sports realizes there is no competitive balance. alabama, duke, ask you know, georgetown, ucla. these schools dominate basketball and football year in and year out. they get the best recruits. let's not be fooled about this. you can make the case that if
schools could make competitive bids for athletes, a smaller school could come in and get a few of those athletes. especially in men's basketball. you know, right now ball state university is never going to beat out kentucky for a single men's basketball recruit. but if you had rich boosters at cal state, they might be able to. in some ways, more competitive sports marketplace, not a less competitive one. >> patrick gruby in washington, d.c., we'll continue to watch this very closely. thank you to all my guests here in new york. keith boykin and sarah and also to jason paige. up next, it is not my letter of the week, it's the name of a new movie getting rave reviews at film festivals and coming to theaters this fall. the director next. [ male announcer ] if you're taking multiple medications, does your mouth often feel dry? a dry mouth can be a side effect of many medications
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who doesn't love a great movie whether you watch it scarfing popcorn in your mega plex, movies let us escape. except sometimes. for the biggest movies can be a mine field of problematic representations. remember when everyone was seeing the help? let me just say despite the brilliance performances, watching a black domestic worker walk off unemployed in the south, didn't make it a feel-good ending for me. or what about the academy award-winning "the blind side." it is based on a true story of a true affection formed across racial lines. just once i wish the blockbuster movie about the young brack man didn't have to feature the white lady savior. maybe that's why i'm really looking forward to new films, and one in particular that flips the script on the often troubling narrow representations of blackness, so often offered up by hollywood.
>> how come the only black movie hollywood wants to make is for black women in pain, man? >> black people dying in the past and black people dying in the present. >> you know, characters instead of stereotypes wrapped in christian dogma? >> why is it inherently evil? >> it's got two chains in it. >> the award-winning new film dear white people, which was a hit at this year's sundance film festival is in theaters every october. this is the film's director. nice to have you. >> i love being in nerd land. >> thanks. what lessons does this film need to teach white folks? >> well, you know, the movie is called dear white people, but it's not necessarily to any specific group of people. you know, for me, it's just really an expression of what i
call the new black experience. the black experience i've had, has been sort of toggling my race identity in between different sort of racial spheres. it's sort of this how i am with my white friends and black friends and mixed group friends. that's a black experience that we were all having but nobody was really talking about in a movie. so i made one. >> in some way -- let's pause for a second. so you said, i made one. maybe it was in part because you talked about making one. you did a concept trailer. and it caught fire. >> that's true. >> all of these folks who were doing that toggling that you talked about, they were saying, yes, a movie needs to exist. >> if your movie is nothing like the movies that made money in the last year, it's like, i don't know, is there going to be an audience for this. i put my tax return into it and we shot it over two days. and people took to it. we were able to easily say,
yeah, there is an audience for this, and they're starving for something that represents what their actual life is like. >> speaking of which, you talk about the audience starving for it. this is set on a college campus, which is part of why nerdland loves it. how about how race operates on campus that makes it rich for comedy and racial conversation? >> i'm a big lover of those sort of sa tar cal movies that take place on the microcosms. like school days that came before election, fame. you're talking about the american experience, in a much more digestible way when it's set on a microcosm of a school, for whatever reason. for me, sort of writing the first draft coming out of my college experience, it wasn't that much of a leap for me to write what i knew about this particular case. >> now, as you were thinking about doing race work, in
comedy, you know -- >> race work. >> race work, right? in comedy. >> very important. >> here we are, across the street from radio city music hall, all of us are working 24 hours a day, so we can't get over there. >> love it. >> it is really hard to do it with -- and make sure that you're laughing with folks and not having folks laugh at you. how do you balance that? >> you know, i don't know. i hope i did. >> i don't know, it might be a mess, who knows. >> i'm really proud of the movie. but what i've been really happy to see happen is as a filmmaker, i wanted to make a movie that left people feeling some kind of way. so maybe they laugh, maybe they're entertained, but they're left with something to ponder at the end of the film that they didn't expect to. as we play it across festivals across the country, it's been really cool to see that happen. you kind of never really know what movie you made until you start showing it to people. i'm happy that it's working in the way that i wanted it to. >> i understand you had to give
the white folks in the audience permission to laugh? >> particularly at the if irs screening. there was a lot of folks that came in, because it was, dear white people. i think some people thought this was going to be an hour and a half of all the things they were doing wrong. which is not exactly what the movie is. but that's a little bit of -- that's a part of it. so i just wanted to ease them into, even though there are black people sitting around you, you're also allowed to laugh at yourselves and the things that happen in the film. >> in a lot of ways it sounds like maybe finally six years into the obama moment, as we may remember it 20 years from now, this toggling in between the notion of college educated folks and the question of managing all of these difficult images is exactly what we need. justin simeon in los angeles, co once again, 9 film is "dear white people." look for it in october. >> october 17. >> thank you for joining us, justin. >> thank you so much. such a pleasure. >> absolutely. that is our show for today.
thanks to you at home for watching. i'll see you next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. but right now it's a preview for "weekends with alex witt." >> that was so fun. thanks, melissa. we'll tell you all of you about an event in texas where supporters hope to boost the chances of wendy davis as she runs for governor. can she lead the state from red to blue. there's new guidance about how soon you should start reading to your child. it's very different than people previously believed. just when you thought it was great to go back in the water, the great white population making an incredible comeback. hey there can i help you? shhhhhh (whispering) sorry (whispering) hi, uh we need a new family plan. (whispering) how about 10 gigs f data to share and unlimited talk and text. (whispering) oh ten gigs sounds pretty good. (whispering) yeah really good. (whispering) and for a family of four, it's $160 a month (impressed, breaks whisper mode) what! get outta here! (whispering) i'm sorry are we still doing the whisper thing? or? (whispering) o! sorry! yes yes! we'll take it. at&t introduces our best-ever family pricing.
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terrorists. is there any real answer to why so many women and children are rushing to the u.s. border now? we have an msnbc original report that is an eye-opener. the pope makes his usual sunday rounds b, but this particular appearance is different. information that might make you think twice about when to start reading to your children. hey there, everyone, high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." we start with a developing story, dramatic turn into the investigation of a georgia toddler who died after being left in a hot car. police are now raising questions about the mother of 22-month-old cooper harris. joining me now, nbc's kerry sanders. the police began releasing search warrants in the case, what do they reveal? >> this